Mastering the Mechanics: Punctuation as Symbols

Last updated 5/31/2016


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Background changes to a close up of a dictionary page and a bright green box that reads: “Mastering the Mechanics: Punctuation as Symbols”

Slide changes to a mostly gray slide with the heading: Punctuation as Symbols

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Below the text reads:

Think of punctuation as symbols on a map— They have specific meanings, and they guide your readers through the territory of your ideas.

Audio: Students very often find punctuation, even more than other elements of grammar, to be quite tricky. Punctuation rules can seem arbitrary. They can seem unclear and elusive and it can seem like, you know, only picky, strict people care about where I'm putting my comma or my period. The goal is not to have you memorize a whole bunch of rules. Instead, think of these punctuation marks as symbols that guide your reader through the territory of your ideas. These punctuation marks really do guide your reader and it tells your reader how the different elements of your sentence fit together and relate to each other to express your ideas.


Visual: Screen changes and the title of the screen reads: Punctuation as Symbols

Below is a blue box that reads: Let’s eat Grandma! Let’s eat, Grandma! Punctuation Saves Lives.

Audio: And I want to show you a very common joke that's going around. I'm reevaluation my grammar geek side, but I happen to love punctuation humor this little comma is the difference between "Let's eat, grandma!" you know, calling your grandma to the dinner table, and "Let's eat grandma!"—You know, let's devour my mother's mother. So punctuation not only helps your reader understand your ideas more clearly, but it does indeed save lives as well.


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